Year of Mercy: Catholic Shrines of Italy

A 10-Day Pilgrimage to Italy to participate in the Holy Year of Mercy
With: Fr. Tom Chillog
September 19-28, 2016


Fr Thomas Chillog

Very Reverend Thomas A. Chillog was ordained in 1984 for the Diocese of Steubenville and has served as the pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in St. Clairsville, Ohio since 2002. Father Tom also serves as the Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Planning and Personnel for the Diocese.

     Father Tom has led several tours to Italy over the years and had the opportunity to spend several months living in the city of Rome while on a sabbatical. He enjoys sharing his insights with his travelers.


Trip Itinerary: *


Day 1. Monday, September 19: USA – Rome

Depart today on a transatlantic flight to Rome, Italy.


Day 2. Tuesday, September 20: Rome

Welcome to Rome! Today’s highlights will encompass Ancient Rome. Visit the Catacombs, where the early Christians used to hide and celebrate Mass. At St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica, see the Apostle’s tomb and his prison chains. Then, visit the Coliseum, Rome’s greatest amphitheater which staged the martyrdom of many early Christians. Continue to your hotel for a welcome dinner with fellow travelers. Overnight in Rome. (WD)


Day 3. Wednesday, September 21: Rome

Take your places early in St. Peter’s Square to attend the weekly Papal Audience. Afterwards, enjoy a walking tour of downtown Rome including a visit to the Pantheon, the best-preserved monument from ancient Rome thanks to its transformation into a church in 609. Visit the magnificent Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, one of the few Gothic structures in Italy, which houses the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena, patron saint of Italy. Then, visit the impressive Baroque Church of Il Gesu, the Jesuit mother church. Continue to the Trevi Fountain, an extravagant Baroque monument which is Rome’s largest and most famous fountain; and the Spanish Steps, in the heart of Piazza di Spagna built to link the square with the French church of Trinita dei Monti at the top. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (BB, D)


Day 4. Thursday, September 22: Rome

Today is filled with awe-inspiring visits. At the Vatican Museums, see the world-famous collection of art and sculptures from centuries of Church history, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms. Exit the museum and walk through the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica to gain the indulgence of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. After a guided sightseeing of St. Peter’s, the world’s largest Catholic church, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure with dinner on your own. (BB)


Day 5. Friday, September 23: Rome – Assisi

Early this morning, travel to the beautiful medieval town of Assisi. En route, visit a regional winery to experience lunch and wine tasting in the Italian countryside. In Assisi, visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica housing the Porziuncola Chapel where St. Francis of Assisi spent most of his life and the cave where he retired for prayer. Then, visit the Church of St. Clare who followed the teachings of St. Francis by living in poverty and humility and thus founded the Order of Poor Clares. Continue to the imposing 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis where the great saint is buried. Dinner and overnight in Assisi. (BB, L, D)


Day 6. Saturday, September 24: Assisi – Loreto – Ravenna

After breakfast in Assisi, make your way to Loreto to visit the House of the Virgin Mary. Tradition holds that this house was miraculously transported here from Dalmatia (in Croatia) by a choir of angels. Continue along the breathtaking Adriatic Coast to Ravenna – a city renowned for its rich mosaics and Byzantine churches. Visit the Basilica of St. Apollinaris in Classe which was originally built to house the tomb of the city’s patron, St. Apollinaris. Next, visit the Church of San Vitale, the most famous monument of Ravenna and one of the most important examples of Byzantine art and architecture in Western Europe. Then, visit the Mausoleum of Galia Placida, designed in the shape of a Greek cross with a cupola that is entirely clad in mosaics. Continue to your hotel in Ravenna for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

Day 7. Sunday, September 25: Ravenna – Padua

Depart today towards Padua, the oldest city in northern Italy. Upon arrival, visit the Pontifical Basilica of St. Anthony the Wonder-Worker. Then, visit the Cappella degli Scrovegni to admire the glorious artwork of Giotto who was commissioned by a banker to paint the walls and ceilings to embellish the chapel which he built in reparation for the sins of his father, one of the usurers encountered by Dante in the “Seventh Circle of Hell” in the Divine Comedy. Dinner and overnight in Padua. (BB, D)


Day 8. Monday, September 26: Padua: Excursion to Venice
Depart early for an excursion to Venice, the “Floating City”. Upon arrival, visit the Basilica of St. Mark, the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. Visit the Pala d’Oro and Treasury and admire the rich jewel-spangled altarpiece, situated behind the high altar and consisting of 250 enamel paintings on gold foil, enclosed within a gilded silver Gothic frame. Enjoy free time to experience a gondola ride along the aquatic avenues and to sample the cuisine in this romantic city before returning to your hotel in Padua. (BB)


Day 9. Tuesday, September 27: Padua – Milan

Early today, transfer to Milan. Upon arrival, visit the impressive Duomo di Milano which houses the tomb of St. Charles Borromeo, bishop of Milan. Then, across the street, visit the magnificent Duomo Museum with its impressive collection of sculptures, paintings and other items connected with the history of the Duomo. Enjoy some free time in this fashionable city before an evening farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. (BB, FD)


Day 10. Wednesday, September 28: Flight to the USA

After breakfast, transfer to Milan’s international airport for your homebound flight. (BB)



Buffet Breakfast (BB); Lunch (L); Dinner (D); Welcome Dinner (WD); Farewell Dinner (FD)



* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.



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